Coffee and gunshots on Zamzama

Published: April 20, 2011

I was having a friendly coffee on Zamzama when we heard gunshots

Last August, a friend and I were sitting at Butlers Chocolate Café enjoying fancy coffees and chatting about life when suddenly, the cafe’s lights dimmed.

At first, I thought the power had gone out but when I saw an expression of concern on one of the waiters’ faces, I suspected there was something greater at play.

I asked the waiter if everything was okay. At first, he appeared a little hesitant to leak the news, but then he said:

“Some men are firing on the main road, outside the restaurant.”

It took me a minute to truly fathom what he was saying. I was visiting from Toronto and while I had heard of such incidents happening in Karachi lately, never for a moment had I thought that I’d be a victim.

There were gunmen outside the cafe, openly firing, treating guns as though they were fire crackers. And, we were caught in the mayhem. There was nothing I could do to avoid what was happening outside. Absolutely nothing,

“Stay calm,” I told myself . After all, I was sitting in a cafe at Zamzama, an upscale street in Karachi, not some random eatery in Nazimabad.

As one of my relatives told me “Defence, Clifton mein kuch nahi hota”.  She clearly didn’t realise that one always has to be on high alert in Karachi, no matter where one is!

It suddenly dawned on me that my driver, Ishaq, was waiting for us in my car outside. Worried about his safety, I called him on his cell phone. When he didn’t pick up my heart began to race. I anxiously called again, hoping that he was alright. At last, he answered.

“People are firing,” he blurted in Urdu. “There are men on motorbikes with guns.” I could hear gun shots in the background.  He instructed me to stay in-doors.

My friend and I looked at each other; our ‘catching up’ session had come to a startling halt.

But amid such chaos, I couldn’t help but notice something striking. I was amazed by how calm everyone was in the restaurant.

People weren’t crouching under tables, worried about being injured nor did they appear to be panicking. Perhaps, they were worried, but there wasn’t an atmosphere of fear in the air. I remember thinking, “God forbid, if a similar incident happened overseas, people would not react like this.”

I could barely eat the extravagant chicken pie I had ordered and wondered how people could swallow their food, knowing that there was a high probability of being injured, or worse – shot dead. The cafe had glass windows and a bullet could have easily pierced through.

A few minutes later, I heard police sirens. My phone rang a few seconds later. It was my driver, informing me that it was safe to exit

The next day, the street was  full of busy shoppers and diners as usual, the same street – targeted by dangerous gunmen – only a day earlier.

I was thoroughly impressed by the way the Karachiites had handled the situation.

It seems Pakistanis have become immune to such occurrences so they continue living – with or without fear, they live – kind of believing that if they’re destined to die, they will. And perhaps this is the best way to live. After all, for how long can the people of Pakistan live life behind closed doors?

We only live once.

Aine Moorad

Aine Moorad

A sub editor on the business desk of The Express Tribune. She is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sana

    Its true…its such a common occurrence now that we’ve become used to the ‘Halaat Kharab’ situation in Karachi. I myself have seen 2 people shot dead in front of me and 1 close by to where i was, it was horrible and yes i was scared to death, but life goes on….!! People from other cities say, y do u still live in Karachi, where u can be shot dead any time anywhere, rn’t u scared..??And my answer to them have always been because its Karachi, if im to die i will die in Lahore, Islamabad or any place else…I love Karachi for everything it stands for…!!! Recommend

  • Saad H

    Great article, but there was one thing I didn’t like, “After all, I was sitting in a cafe at Zamzama, an upscale street in Karachi, not some random eatery in Nazimabad.” It portrays you as a bit of a snob to be honest…Recommend

  • Please

    “Stay calm,” I told myself . After all, I was sitting in a cafe at Zamzama, an upscale street in Karachi, not some random eatery in Nazimabad.
    As one of my relatives told me “Defense, Clifton mein kuch nahi hota”. She clearly didn’t realise that one always has to be on high alert in Karachi, no matter where one is!

    Bravo lady, shows how much of an un-biased view you have.

    Go back from where you came from lady.

    If you’re going to have such biased views of people and places, then kindly go back to your ‘upscale’ dubai/UK/US welfare homes and leave us evil Nazimabadi’s alone… Recommend

  • Avi

    Awe, bebo got scared!Recommend

  • Amer

    The reference to Nazimabad was truely in bad taste. If you were a real Karachi lover then you would not even be writing this in the first place and would have even ordered desert after the chicken pie (?) that you had!! Bad choice of writing style and bad taste in food too!! LOL
    Miss Burger got scared! :) Recommend

  • Narmeen

    i was there too and felt the exact same way you did!Recommend

  • Bilal

    I have a v filmi verse on this topic…Kitnay masum hein tere shahar ke log…Khun kar ke poochtey hein janaza kis ka hai :p Recommend

  • Inseeay

    Lady, please go back to your ‘aunty parties’ or whatever ‘upscale’ activities you people do…Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    But what exactly happened outside the cafe?Recommend

  • Farhan Aleem

    Nice start Aine. You highlight that today’s circumstances have turn us in to realization mode.
    Awaiting for next one…!Recommend

  • Rida

    So, how was the chicken pie?Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    I remember that August evening, gunfire was widespread around Clifton, i was at Road side cafe not far from zamzama, where we heard gun fire, the cafe owner dimmed lights, locked us in, and waited till a phone call to local police station confirmed it was safe to step out. But this one thing I will say, saying something like that against Nazimabad was a very snobbish thing to say, makes u look like a total snob, very insensitive, and fyi parts of nazimabad and north nazimabad are posh.Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar

    aine…you are…in what is known as common parlance….a ‘patsy’….you’ve been had….the whole post was ruined by a reference to an eatery in nazimabad…which by the way….is farther away from lyari than zamzama….and lyari is probably the most dangerous area in khi…..Recommend

  • baloch

    and these burgers want to bring Inqilaab!!!Recommend

  • A

    I love how silly the people are. They’re attacking her for one line where she said “not some eatery in Nazimabad.” This was just a comparison between the elite neighborhoods and the older neighborhoods where stuff like this happens a little more often! She isn’t attacking Nazimabad or saying Defense is so much better, she just gave used that as an example!Recommend

  • H

    awwwwwww poor you. did you get scared? come to nazimabad, we’ll take you around ;)Recommend

  • Arsalan Faruqi

    It’s more like Japanese people being fine tuned with tremors :) God save us all from these political activists. Recommend

  • http://hongkong wahab

    Rangers say they can stop this killing in a month but seems like politics is more important than peoples lives.. Bloody PPP, ANP and MQMRecommend

  • bz

    i actually enjoyed the part where she called her driver and “he actually answered in urdu”…Recommend

  • Sana

    @ Author – where are you from?

    Agree with everyone re the Nazimabad reference. It was snobbish and ruined the already not-so-strong article.Recommend

  • Anon

    All in all a pretty weak article and the Nazimabad comment was quite distasteful. Recommend

  • Eliya

    “After all, I was sitting in a cafe at Zamzama, an upscale street in Karachi, not some random eatery in Nazimabad.” – It tells us how lousy and pathetic u actually thinks.Recommend

  • usman maqsood

    interesting event to share, but whats your point?? trying to discuss the bravery of pakistanis or criticizng there attitude,like all other writers do…
    also its not like that you are not safe anywhere in karachi,its just the misundestanding between the local govt. and agencies which cause such a riots to arise.Recommend

  • Grace

    This is the reason why another clean up operation is needed in Karachi. I support sending in the Rangers to allow people to enjoy their Cafe au Laits in peace!!!!Recommend

  • Muzzammil

    It seems the main objective of your 6th grade essay was not to highlight Karachi and how people live, but the sad reality that your life is imprisoned in a 2 mile radius around zamzama far far away from an unknown land called Nazimabad. Oh well atleast next time you’re at some other non-glass cafe you can browse your own blog on BB and show to your company you’re such a journalist. Unfortunately, they would also be wowed by your writing skills.

    Sigh Tribune has zero standards, give some respect to the bloggers worldwide atleast.Recommend

  • Poor lil rich Girl

    @Grace: I want peaceful coffees too but please no Rangers! They are usesless, money sucking, gun toting trouble makers.

    I really loved Aine’s piece. Contrary, to what so many of the commenters said she was honest. I know I have been guilty of feeling this way. When a dirty looking man sits at a table next to me at Espresso I’ll think “What the hell is he doing here?” – when women in burqas come to Labels I do think “Seriously?” – and I know this awful, ‘elitist’ behaviour.

    But guess what fools?

    It’s real.

    Why are we attacking Aine for a reaction that is in fact pretty natural “Hey, this stuff doesn’t happen here. It happens in places like Nazimabad.”

    Oh, yeah.
    We’re soo politically correct.
    Let’s all hate on Ainee because it’s better than accepting that someone in this dishonest phony world said something real. What a great oppurtunity to kick them in the teeth, Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala

    Hilarious and naive.

    At long last the “burger missy” is getting bugged by the “hungama ” which used to happen “only” in Karachi’s backyards .

    BTW , a piece of alternative medication advice to appease your taste buds and sooth your
    shaken nerves . Try Bihari Kebabs in Ornagi Town or Nazima bad sometimes , leaving off the chicken pie out of menu, for a change .Recommend

  • Amer

    @Poor lil rich Girl: Yea now that you put it that way, it does feel so much better doesn’t it!! LOL….
    I knew the sub-editor at ET business desk was really being “real”, afterall what else can you expect from snobs on ET besides being “real”.Recommend

  • shay

    “A friend and I were sitting at Butlers Chocolate Café enjoying *fancy* coffees and chatting about *life* .”

    life should have died before you chatted about it, Ms Aine. What a load of rubbish!Recommend

  • TightDhoti

    After such an attack you are one of the very very few people who could just call their drivers and drive off. The reason why people have become immune to such events is because they are more concerned with how to feed their family, how they will pay their bills, provide medical and educational care etc. You have the luxury to look back at the event and remember how unappetizing the chicken pie had become. Consider yourself lucky. Btw, “Posh” is nothing for an area to aspire to. Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    I wonder if they edit stuff for blogs or not. That Nazimabad reference would have been skipped very easily if this was edited properly.

    Somehow this entry could have been better. The author became too personal and wrapped it up too quickly.

    BTW, there used to be a rating system. Where did it go?Recommend

  • Faria Syed

    @Saad Durrani:
    The star rating feature appears underneath the piece,above comments. So far this post has been rated by 18 readers and has a rating of 2.88/5.
    (Web Desk)


  • Said Chaudhry

    Ahhh…the sufferings of the ruling elite…Recommend

  • Sheraryar X

    I cant believe you left the driver outside…Recommend

  • Mastishhk

    @ Author…Enjoying Fancy Coffees….Wat exactly are fancy coffees???? Recommend

  • Ali

    The article is an absolute piece of rubbish. Maybe the ‘damsel in distress’ needs to visit Quetta as well where she would be fortified satisfactorily only in SERENA hotel.Snobbish to say the least! Quetta has a multitude of problems, which include murdering a kidnapped person for ransom or sectarian issues. Its just recent news…..
    Karachi also bleeds but at the expense of others. Agencies and politicos of whole country deliberately create trouble in the metropolis to achieve their goals. The author mentioning about Nazimabad probably needs to know that intellectuals of varied fields have arisen from the very same Nazimabadi streets very often enough, and not from high-fi defense areas….Recommend

  • lost

    Karachi was a peaceful city with people with open hearts that is why it welcomed so many people after partition but now ……sindhi have been kicked from their own city just to be declared a mahajir city .now guns and blood and corruption rules the city jis thali me kahate ho us hee me ched karte ho .everybody is scared if they utter a word against specific party they will be killed in cold blood may be this be happening on that dayRecommend

  • Sara

    Loved the article. Interesting perspective! All you people are so lame! Recommend

  • Zara

    We all want our Karachi back! Thanks for sharing !Recommend

  • Ghausia

    I think it would have been better if you’d written “instead of an eatery in Nazimabad or Gulshan, where such shootings are more common than the “posh” areas.’ Almost all my friends are in that area and my uni is near Dalmia so the main road sometimes get cordoned off due to firing but even I was startled by the apparently snobby Nazimabadi reference. I’m done talking now. Liked this, but the Nazimabad reference could’ve been explained better instead of being snobby.Recommend

  • parvez

    You shot yourself in the foot with the Nazimabad comment.
    Funny how strongly people reacted to a simple factual statement which I feel was made by you in an honest manner without malice, at best could be termed undiplomatic.Recommend

  • Kamran

    Great insight! Thanks for sharing…..AGAIN, the author isn’t insulting nazimabad, she is only saying that such incidents are more common there as opposed to areas like defense. Why are some people so thick! ?Recommend

  • e-samosa

    Good assessment and insight into what actually goes on in the minds of people witnessing such incidents. At the same time, you cannot compliment Karachiites while dissing one of their neighbourhoods. When ‘halaat’ are ‘kharaab’ in any part, all of Karachi suffers.Recommend

  • Critique

    What exactly is the point of this blog?

    Seems like an article through which you can flaunt your social status. Writing about ‘fancy coffee at Butlers Chocolate Cafe’ and derogatory comments regarding Nazimabad is just sad.

    Open your eyes and look around you… There are people whose sufferings are worse than the difficulty you faced in swallowing your ‘extravagant chicken pie’Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    @Faria Syed:
    Thank you Faria.Recommend

  • Fahad Hayat

    no aine noo why you? why not some girl from nazimabad?? you were in the upscale street of the city, i feel terrible!!! :(Recommend

  • redsnapper

    OK, so you wanted to practice writing, that’s fine. Being distasteful about Nazimabad, you have a right to be a snob if you are. But it took you almost a year to decide to write about an event? This is a newspaper website, remember? One year old news?Recommend

  • Jib

    Nice post Aine.

    The author is JUST sharing another perspective for all those fools criticising her.

    @ ali…..Get out of the gutter and think beyond! She probably knows what’s happening in Quetta …and even if she doesn’t, this post isn’t about Quetta for crying out loud!

    She was at Zamzama that night, and experienced the gunshots… and told us her interpretation of events and what she noticed and experienced…! that’s all …We as a society need to broaden our horizons..! Recommend

  • Fruitforbidden

    Many of these “Defence-walas” had their parents living in “Nazimabad” some 20 years back in “Kiraey ka gher” when defence was just Abdullah shah ghazi’s mazar, fun-land and stale air smelling of fish! And now out of shame or complex they call people living in nazimabad “Northies” just to show they haven’t ever had anything to do with it!Recommend

  • Muhammad Zaid Azam

    @ author

    this is common in all the metropolitan cities of the world. roam around newyork any night in the neighborhoods of harlem or brooklyn or even staten island , and you will see people getting knifed and even shot for a mere $ 20. agreed karachi has a little bit of more problems , but this doesnt mean our city is bad.

    rather than criticise this city , tell me what did you do to make it better ? did you call the police like a responsible citizen when you heard the shots ? or did you just sit and get scared?

    People make the country what it is. Sadly we choose to migrate to the west and leave our country in the hands of uneducated idiots.

    We go to Canada and the US and follow their rules , pay their taxes and stand in their lines. But in Pakistan we want our “Uncle” to call his “friend” at the passport office just so that we get a quick service.

    The condition of our country is entirely our fault. If there is anyone to blame it is US. We the people of Pakistan have screwed Pakistan. And only we can save it.

    P.S. next time you write, please try not to be elitist , no body is better than anyone. the areas we live in , area na accident of birth. It is not our choice if we are born to parents with 7 figure bank balances, so we should not flaunt our luck like this.Recommend

  • Raza

    This is a windup right?

    I could barely eat the extravagant
    chicken pie I had ordered and wondered
    how people could swallow their food,
    knowing that there was a high
    probability of being injured, or worse
    – shot dead.


  • Samar

    Haha! Such a childish article! I am amazed at the
    Publisher! What a waste of time! Recommend

  • Ali

    with reference to Waqqas Iftikhar

    I am reminded of the immortal cartoon Madagascar!

    Mort: “King Julien, what are they? What are they?!”
    King Julien: “They are aliens. Savage aliens from the savage future.”
    Maurice: “They’ve come to kill us. And take our women. And our precious metals.”
    Julien: “Get up, Mort. Do not be near the king’s feet, okay?”
    Julien: “Shh. Shh. We’re hiding. Be quiet, everyone. Including me. Shh! Who’s making that noise? Oh, it’s me agien.”
    Mort: “They are savages. Tonight we die.”
    Melman: “They are so cute from a reasonable distance.”
    Julien: “They are just a bunch of pansies.”
    Julien: “Come on, everybody. Let’s go and meet the pansies!”

  • Rabia

    This Ali guy writes very witty comments.Recommend

  • Ali

    I am from Federal B Area, which is not so different from NAzimabad, and guys i feel we are hitting too much on Nazimabad reference.. honestly dont we all say , yaar defence waghira main halaat ki kharabi ka pata nahi lagta,,
    isn’t it true k that in our areas, usually law and order situation is far far worst than that elite or posh area,, lets accept the fact rather than taking out our frustration on the poor lady.Recommend

  • Saba Khalid

    Wow, sloppy writing, dripping of wannabeness!Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Yes as Karachiites we have become immune to such acts of violence happening day in and day out here. Everyone goes about their buisness 5 mins after the mayhem ends and it appears as if nothing has happened.

    And @ everyone….there are certain areas of the city which are much more dangerous than others so why the fuss about the reference of Nazimabad? This stands true about almost all the cities of the world. What the author was trying to say (and it appears people missed the point) that even the so called/perceived safe area of the city is not without mayhem. Recommend

  • King Julien

    I have a feeling that the few people coming to the aid of the author are her friends! or fellow pansies!

    physically fit physically fit! physically physically fittttRecommend

  • Adna Khan

    Defence really was a safe, clean and peaceful part of Karachi… until the MQM banners started showing up here. Now we have crazed motorcyclists, without silencers, carrying MQM party flags, zig-zagging their way through normal traffic at break-neck speeds and harassing the ashrafiya. They are primarily responsible for shootings on Zamzama. They are just plain rotten, ghundas.
    I wish they could make a lake or something over on that side of the bridge for these people. Zamzama, Sea-View, Park Towers, Forum… these are shopping and recreational facilities for our locality. Now we have lafangas coming from lord knows where to just loll about, window shopping and throwing rubbish everywhere.
    Just look at what they have done to our beloved Sea-View. DHA residents pay taxes through our nose (DHA, Karachi residents are the most taxed residents of any society in Pakistan!) to make these beaches and parks and look who comes to deface and plunder them daily ?. We used to be able to take quiet morning and evening walks on sea-view. Now, no sharif banda (let alone bandi) can walk there.
    Ainee Murad has nafees and nazuk sensibilities. She is not used to thugs shooting-up the place around her. She values her life and those around her. Maybe in Nazimabad and Orangi that is the norm. The papers say so.
    At least, it didn’t used to be like this, around here. I am sorry if the truth has hurt anybody’s feelings on that side of the bridge. Shurfa’ are welcome anytime, from anywhere.
    Adnan KhanRecommend

  • Reema

    I think all you ppl need to accept the facts ! Appreciate the fact that she is complementing karachites on how brave they’ve become over time. She’s brought an interesting point forward. We need more personal pieces like these especially when reading blogs. This is a blog entry and should read like a diary !Recommend

  • Ashar

    “Suddenly the cafe’s lights dimmed……” if people are so used to it then why would the cafe management dim the lights, doesn’t make any sense. Situation in this part of the city had gotten bad only at the time of BB’s assassination, but even then there were remote instances of aerial firing and vandalism.
    Karachi is no different from any cosmopolitan city of the world. I dare you to go to wood green or turnpike lane underground station in London after 10 o’clock at night. Ben Stiller said he got mugged every week when he was living in the Bronx area of New York.
    You can say that every city has rough areas but such things do not happen in the upscale areas of the city, to that I say how can we forget about Paul Castellano being assassinated outside the sparks steak house in Manhattan and the assassination of Joe Colombo.
    “God forbid, if a similar incident happened overseas, people would not react like this.” Just shows you haven’t traveled much.
    Other than the exceptions highlighted above, its a good article ;).Recommend

  • LOL

    @ Adnan: You’re kidding, right? please tell me you’re kidding.. right? Cuz I really cracked up with laughter after reading your comment

    @Anybody commending her for being TRUTHFUL and laying the FACTS as they ARE: Here is a little eye opener. My aunt moved to defence, it was khyaban shamsheer I guess.. and every month she would get robbed :D at gun point :D by…… (wait for it, No, not ghundas on motorcycles.. but by).. long haired BURGER BOYS and their GFs zooming around in black-tinted HUGE SHINY cars, looking for a quick thrill to pick up some more prostis or some more weed/hash/coke…

    And she wasn’t the only one with the tale. Heard lots of other people complaining the same thing.Recommend

  • nayeem

    so how was the chicken pie?Recommend

  • Suhaib

    Well said Saad… Would like the writer to elaborate on what she meant by some random eatery in Nazimabad!Recommend

  • Rana Asghar

    Nazimabad comments was not appropriate! After all they are human beings also. Recommend

  • Ali

    Lol, whoever you are, you need to get a hang of yourself.Reference to Quetta was just to enlighten the part that atrocities/target killings/bombings/crime are a part of most of Paki Land now; and it is a bitter truth. Its not only in Karachi but elsewhere as well. So if people are to live in such places, they have to endure it obviously for which nothing can be done most of the times, as it is not in the hand of normal people to control such happenings. That is why being snobbish, and flaunting seems ridiculous specially on a newspaper blog. Hope that little bit gets into your minuscule mind… and ya Ali, u are witty!!!!Recommend

  • Umar Khan

    Lol, man you are not serious, are you?? because if you are, it is very lame of you..are you trying to imply that only non-mqm people used to live in defence or are they the only ashrafias???
    God has a funny way of telling how much ‘shurfa’ the other people are; they only blow up themselves,killing innocents and nothing else. Recommend

  • booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    u may be visitting from toronto but u totally killed this piece by mentioning nazimabad…trust me its safer than the upclass town u claim to have come from…..get a life woman…

    @kamran…it doesnt seem like she isnt dissing nazimabad…n no one reading this is as thick as u…Recommend

  • Ali

    why was my comment removed???Recommend

  • Waqqas Iftikhar

    @ Ali….that was hilarious mate…sarcasm is mostly lost on our folk from the the land of the (im)pure?

    @adnan khan – dunno if you are being sarcastic….but the rape recently and ali hajano of the white corolla fame – not to mention the kidnappings galore from defence are hardly the work of the MQM (who are bhatta masters) but the work of that lion of sindh zulfi mirza – who, the last time i checked was not a supporter of the MQM.

    MQM hardly has a ‘katcha’ to take kidnapped people to right?Recommend

  • Arsalan Faruqi

    Guys, Blogs are supposed to be personal experiences shared by the writer, not to be critically analysed by readers. A saner approach could have been sharing of more such experiences rather than picking on sentences and phrases used in the write up. Ainee has very rightly brought forward the state of mind we all have accepted as our fate. as for the gentleman who blamed MQM for that day’s episode, I must suggest some political insight before commenting on such issues. It is now an open fact that Defence and Clifton is without a doubt “PPP” turf and no other political party can fire even a single bullet as long as PPP is in power. According to some inside information, cars loaded with gun totting youngsters were seen exiting Bilawal House that day, setting fire to a passenger bus near BBQ Tonight and then aerial firing at Zamzama. Just wanted to get facts straightened up. cheers !!Recommend

  • Bushra

    @ friutforbidden
    WELL SAID !!!!Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    @Dr. Amyn Malik:
    The way it was referred shows an angle of insensitivity which I think the writer did not had. The narrative however (sort of) kills the aim of the post.Recommend

  • Asad

    This is one of the few blogs I’ve read that has kept me reading till the end! Love how the writer dives straight into the scene. Interesting use of quotes and narrative! Looking forward for your next piece.Recommend

  • Ghausia

    Okay so I’ve been accused of going easy on this blog instead of ranting in my usual way because the author is ET staff. Not true. I wasn’t in the mood to rant, plus, she’s cute, I can’t be mean to cute people. Unfortunately, for the sake of my make-believe dignity, I have to now. :P

    This blog reeks of wannabe-ism and elitism. Fancy coffee at Butler’s? Seriously? You know, I’m friends with a lot of fancy people, most of which hate Butler’s and say its over-priced with crappy cuisine. Even the friends that live in ‘non-fancy’ areas like SMCHS hate it, not that we’d listen to their opinions since they don’t live in DHA or Clifton.

    I stand by my previous comment in that yes, Nazimabad, Gulshan, etc. are unsafe. But the phrasing, as I stated earlier, was all wrong. A better example could’ve been Lyari or Dalmia, less biased that way. Hell, if I had 50 paisas for every time someone arrived late to class, shaken up because they drove past people firing in Dalmia on the way to uni, well, I could afford more than one trip to ameer logon k hangouts like Butler’s. Nazimabad btw, despite its lack of safety, is a pretty nice place. Its very clean, less crowded than DHA, hell, there’s less graffiti there than in DHA. (Case in point; a few houses down my wall, some lovely individual has drawn a you-know-what on the wall. Charming. Free biology lesson dood!)

    You know what? I live in DHA but we only moved here about a couple of years ago, till then I lived in PECHS. I should SO write a blog about how miserable life was living in the poor part of town, and how, ever since we moved, we’ve suddenly grown richer, classier, move in elite circles, and are suddenly more educated despite going to crappy third-grade schools. Ohhh! I absolutely MUST mention the American accent I’ve developed despite never being out of Asia! (Except for that one time when mom went to London when she was pregnant with me of course).Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala

    @ Ghousia , par excellence madmoizelle !!! quite lucid I must admit
    A real treat for eyes and mind to read on and fathom out .( no pun intended indeed )..
    Ought to venture blogging .yourself , if already not .

    And yes , give the poor thing , the blogger missy a break ( OMG , me on the verge of a laughter-chocked-death ) , she has had enough by now .LMAO !!!!Recommend

  • Asad

    We need to grow up ! That’s why we fail to move forward as a nation. LISTENING to other peoples opnions is an important life skill. Let’s grow up n not jump to conclusions. If this gal was such a snob, she wouldn’t not have called her driver and asked abt his well-being.
    Think ppl think ! She’s brought a compelling reality forward, we have become so used to these incidents, that we don’t behave like normal ppl would behave. We have become immune and do leave our life to fate! Cos we can’t control the severity of what is happening in our country . Even areas like Clifton and defense which were once considered safer can become unsafe in a matter of minutes.Recommend

  • Kumar

    WOW !!.. Even i live on the opposite lane of Butler’s chocolate cafe, but i never heard this last year :D.. In fact we are used to of it.. My office was used to be in I.I chandiguar road before, Literally after benazir died, twice or thrice a week there was a rush of people running, but hearing the GUN SHOTs.. smashing car’s, burning tyres.. damn that was real horrible and after few time i was used to of it.. I dont leave my office until and unless i dont complete my work.. before when i just hear any Rumor i just rush out, and i also left my car in the parking space many times, coz cant take it out in that traffic jam area..

    But as i said we all Pakistani’s are used to of it… We wont stop living :)Recommend

  • Jibran

    Even though, I’m sure this wasn’t a fun experience to go through, I found certain parts of the article witty. The writer’s style and descriptions of places/people was great. Please keep such pieces coming. Recommend

  • Hammad

    U see Ms. Author, it can happen anywhere in karachi. And kindly remove ur biases against and fantasies for the so called elite Zamzama!!! I guess u r one of those shd remain outside pakistan and and shd only b commenting and writing useless articles since u have got nothing tangible to do.Recommend

  • Asif Khan

    Give me a break. My first impression was the same.

    I started reading the article with thrill/suspense in my mind. I was visualizing everything the writer was trying to depict and was trying to relate it to myself. Then came the “Crappy NO Irresponsible NO Snobby-Maybe Sentence”. And all my imagination and visualization went down the drain, From that point onwards, I traversed the article trying to concentrate but till the very last sentence I had only 1 thing in back of my mind; did she said “random eatery in nazimabad”. And to me, that one statement ruined this amateur unwillingly snobby but real life article. Than I started reading the comments and I realized that how come everyone has the same thought? After analyzing for a while I came to point that there is only one thing common in all of us. ” We are all Pakistanis”. Our temperament level is almost zero, our racism is at the extreme, and our thought process is frozen. C’mon guys, there might be zilllionth of reasons she gave the nazimabad reference. I can think of 2 3 at most, but again as I said our thinking ability gets frozen when we don’t hear what we want to hear. Alright, Let me give it a try. May be she is settled in Canada and does not know many places in Karachi. How many of you know about Lahore in detail? or Peshawer or Canada or any place where you do not live. May be she has once in her life been on the road when some people might be eating by the roadside and she would have asked someone, what place is this and got the reply “this is nazimabad”. Zamzama is something really different. Not because its expensive, but because of the feeling you get there, may be it has something to do with the double road. I’d say, she could have easily written boat basin instead of Nazimabad. Boat basin fit best to the situation and definition of what the writer was trying to depict. Writer was wrong, that article was not one of the best Ive read, but, Give her a break! She will do better in future if she could swallow all the hatred everyone has shown and learns the art of making everyone happy!

    My two cents.



  • Confused

    Well on the bright side, at least you live in Toronto. Should be glad of thatRecommend

  • Said Chaudhry

    hahahahaha Ghausia, you are too much!!Recommend

  • Maria

    @Confused: You really don’t know how many expatriates in the West live then do you? They too have their fair share of problems. Yes some immigrants are well settled abroad but there are just as many who just squeak out an existence. Ever been to the immigrant ghettos in Europe where marginalized foreigners do the labour jobs Westerners won’t do or where many foreigners just live on state social assistance / state khayrat.Recommend

  • sania

    i dont understand why people are getting offended by her nazimabad statement. I think all the writer is trying to say is that in an upper class area an incident like this is unexpected. As a a foreigner and in her situation I would be scared like anything and be surprised by how people reacted to this. Recommend

  • Raza

    I don’t understand why ppl are offended too. It’s sad to see our countrymen behave like this.Recommend

  • Eefa Khalid

    i’d like to meet the features editor or maybe they don’t have one. I don’t understand this elitist mentality and i wonder a big organization, an online editorial like this can just publish such random nonsense. Such a pity state our nation and we all our in,
    What a shame!

    PS: yes we live here where bomb-blast and random shootings occur and its actually sad too, we have hearts and we do feel it. Talk about it but no one is in the position to do anything about it. can you do anything?. and we love our country despite all this…so no thanks for you reminder as we are pretty socially and morally aware.Recommend

  • Asad

    Unfortunately, Nobody can do anything that’s why we need to keep living, as this writer has so righly brought forward. We can’t keep living behind closed doors. I think some people really must find out the definition of a blog. It’s a pity that they are so thick to not understand the essence of the piece. Tribune, plz start attracting more subscribers who have broader perspectives.Recommend